A young man in glasses and a denim shirt sits in a padded office chair and works on a computer. One of his hands is on the keyboard and the other hand is pressed to his chin as he considers the monitor in front of him.
The optimal website is one designed to create the smoothest user experience. — Getty Images/Cavan Images

User experience (UX) is part of the design process, and it ensures customers have a positive interaction with your website. It also reduces friction and makes it so the customer can easily access the information they need.

[Read more: How to Drive Traffic to Your Website]

What is UX?

UX refers to how a user interacts with your website and how frictionless that experience is. UX design focuses on understanding what the customer needs and how to make the experience better for them.

For instance, think about all of the steps you go through to make a purchase. From adding the item to your cart to entering in your personal information, there are many steps you’ll take before you check out.

UX tries to improve every one of these steps and make them as seamless as possible. UX designers focus on market research, strategy, user behavior and design. They often do this by creating site maps, customer profiles and wireframes.

[Read more: Website Design & User Experience Tips for Small Business]

How to improve UX

If you’re looking for ways to improve user experience, here are a few steps you can take.

Understand how people use your website

Before you can improve your website’s UX, you have to understand how your website’s visitors are using it. Once they land on your homepage, where do they go? What information do they quickly scroll through, and where do they stop and read the content?

Using a scroll map is a great way to understand user behavior and how people engage with your site. A scroll map shows how quickly users scroll through your website and where you can make improvements and increase conversions.

As you’re making improvements to your website, start with the most important pages first.

Add more white space

One of the easiest ways you can improve UX on your site is by adding more white space. Adding white space around your content and images helps website visitors focus. It reduces the clutter on your website and makes it feel easier to navigate.

Plus, adding white space can improve the credibility of your business and help people trust you more. Customers form an immediate opinion about your business based on the website design. So if your site layout is too busy or the text is hard to read, you may be inadvertently turning people away.

Test different CTAs

You probably have various calls-to-action (CTAs) located throughout your website. There are a variety of factors that go into a compelling CTA, from the size and color of the button to the exact wording you use.

Begin A/B testing different factors to see which can help increase your conversions the most. For instance, you may want to start by testing two different colors to see which customers prefer.

Improve your site speed

If your site takes too long to load, you are likely losing website visitors and money. Kissmetrics found that 40% of visitors leave if a page takes more than three seconds to load. And slow websites result in $2.6 billion in lost sales annually.

If you’re not sure how quickly your website loads, you can use this free tool from Google to find out. It will analyze your website and offer recommendations for improvements.

[Read more: How to Build a Mobile-Friendly E-Commerce Website]

Optimize your most important pages

As you’re making improvements to your website, start with the most important pages first. The pages that matter most to you will depend on the type of business you run. For most businesses, the homepage, contact page and sales pages are the most important.

Start with one page and begin A/B testing one area at a time. As you optimize that page, the information you learn will help you start to make improvements to the rest of your website.

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